We live in a fast-paced world, and we tie a lot of things we do to apps on our mobile phones – from grocery lists and ordering takeaways to banking and more.
With our devices in close proximity, we tend to spend a lot of time on our phones.
But in addition to using them for personal activities, there’s a wealth of apps that can help you manage work tasks from the palm of your hand.
And that includes HR requirements.
And that means the likes of leave management, expenses and staff performance can be dealt with without the need to be in front of a desktop PC or Mac.
In this article, we highlight the benefits of using an HR app, how it can improve the employee experience and HR tasks that can be managed.
Here’s what we cover:
Benefits of using an app
Managing your people effectively is important.
The ability to do it anytime and anywhere can help you to stay ahead. And with remote working and hybrid working on the cards for the foreseeable, using an HR app will help you to stay on top of things.
Why wait until you’re back in the office or in front of a computer? If you need to work on an HR task, you can use your phone to do it.
Tasks can be completed in a matter of minutes with a few simple taps of a button.
But it goes the other way too.
Your employees don’t need to be in the office to access their HR documents. Instead, they can simply use their mobile phone.
This is ideal especially if, for example, they want to check what their holiday allocation is for the rest of the year, view their latest payslip, or need to book the morning off so they can attend a doctor’s appointment.
Why a mobile HR app can improve the employee experience
With your people being your company’s most important asset, doing what you can to improve the employee experience will be one of your top priorities.
To help you achieve that, below we highlight three reasons why a mobile HR app could play a key role.
1. We run our lives on our mobile devices
We live in a time where most of the information we consume comes from our mobile devices.
They’ve pushed us so far forward that the idea of not owning a mobile phone is unthinkable. From booking holidays to ordering food and watching programmes (not to mention making phone calls…), a mobile phone is an essential piece of kit for our daily lives.
An HR app allows you to extend this communication trend into the workplace.
2. No employee is left behind
Not all employees are sitting at a desk.
There are certain industries such as construction, hospitality, leisure, logistics, retail and transport where many employees are out in the field and don’t have access to a work terminal during the day.
Here, a mobile app can make a massive difference in terms of improving their experiences.
With an app, you won’t leave any of your employees behind. Everybody is in the loop and your employees will have the same access to vital HR services wherever work takes them.
3. Reduce risks of exposing or losing sensitive data
If your business is relying on the old way of doing things, you could be exposed to losing sensitive data. Excel files could be accidentally deleted. Vital files could be overwritten. Emails could be hacked.
However, by using a mobile approach, you could avoid these issues.
With an HR app, your company data will be stored in the cloud. And that means your employees will be able to securely access what they need from their mobile phones.
HR tasks to manage with an app
As you know, there are numerous HR tasks to complete on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. But, when it comes to staying on top of everything, a mobile HR app can be your friend.
Here’s a selection of people processes you can use your HR app for.
- Core HR: Your key tasks on a phone? Done. Via a simple dashboard, you can see who’s in the office and who is off work, look at the full employee list, take a glance at employee emergency details and view expenses.
- Expenses: Now, you can easily check your expenses history. It’s also easy for your employees to submit their expenses and for you to approve them, with your phone in one hand and a coffee in the other.
- Leave management: Approving time-off requests just got easier (as did submitting them – your employees will thank you for that). And it’s easy for you to quickly check who’s got time off and when.
- Payroll: Your employees have the power to view and download their payslips, meaning you don’t have to print them off and send them across instead. Same goes for their P60s.
- Performance measurement: Want to see how your employees are getting on? Now, you can easily view feedback on your phone – and quickly send updates on performance to your employees too.
- Timesheets: Forget the old days of your employees having to physically clock in and clock out at the start and end of the day. Now they can use their phones to do that – and you can check the hours they’ve submitted and the time they’ve worked.
How a mobile app makes life easier all round
Access to information
Through a mobile HR app, employees can access information whenever and wherever they need it.
You can access documents held in the cloud, such as payslips and benefits information, which can be a laborious task on a desktop computer, or even a mobile browser.
You may not remember your login details offhand, and a mobile app on a smartphone is handy in that you may not need to type in a complicated password to get access.
Easily offer support to your employees
Your HR team could spend the bulk of their day answering repetitive employee questions about the likes of annual leave, benefits and payroll. This can take away time from more important tasks, such as working on projects that improve employee retention rates.
With an HR app, often employees can self-serve and find answers to their questions on their own at any time.
They wouldn’t even need to speak to anybody from the HR team. Using just their phone, they could track their leave balances, check the status of their time-off request, view their payslips, and submit expenses.
They could access information quickly without occupying too much time.
Overcome communication gaps
A mobile app provides HR with a valuable communication tool for pushing instant notifications to employees. This also gives you another medium where you can build employee-organisation rapport even outside office hours.
Keeping employees constantly in the loop increases their morale and will help HR create a better and more productive workplace.
Tracking expenses is a breeze
Often expenses still involve endless emails, spreadsheets and maintaining copies of receipts after submitting an expense.
With mobile technology, your employees could to submit an expense by simply snapping a photo of the receipt, which would mean no fiddling with emails, attachments and backup copies.
On the receiving end, a manager could approve the expense submission with just a couple of taps.
This entire process happens in real-time, wherever you are in the world. Submitting and tracking expenses on the fly could save HR and employees a lot of time.
Real-time updates and alerts
Do you want to increase the productivity and efficiency of your workforce? Transparency works.
Everybody works harder and more effectively when everyone’s on the same page — from the managers to individual team members.
Some apps also make it easy to create and integrate shift schedules into a project. You can then schedule changes to every affected employee’s mobile device, so everybody knows who’s working when.
Final thoughts on using an HR mobile app
If the past year has taught us anything, it’s how crucial digital communication is for work. And this is even more relevant if you have a remote or hybrid workforce.
Using a mobile HR app is a great way to improve the efficiency of HR and other areas of your business.
You and your employees might already be using mobile phones and tablets to complete work tasks, so adopting an HR app to manage your people processes will be a useful addition to keep you and your team up to speed in this fast-paced world.
Editor’s note: This article was first published in June 2021 and has been updated for relevance.
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